Intersectionality is one of the most important things I learned about in my social work education. Intersectionality is a concept that says that oppressions are interconnected, they intersect, and cannot be viewed separately. For example, a trans woman of colour. This person needs to be seen as a whole and that each oppression (and even each privilege) create their entire experience. To focus on them as just a trans woman and believing that they experience oppression solely because they are a trans woman ignores the added BS this woman experiences because they are also a person of colour. Trans women of colour have very different experiences than white trans women since white/light skin is seen as a privilege.
I wanted to share the above tweet because it speaks to me and my intersectionality as a woman with a mental health diagnosis. Women are frequently shamed for showing “masculine” emotions such as anger. Anger has been a huge part of my life. It has provided me with power that I didn’t have as a teenager when my emotions were turned inward and I never expressed myself. I have experienced men (mostly white men) that become very insulted when I became angry with them, expressed that I disagree with them or firmly told them what I did and did not want. My confidence goes from “sexy” to “bitchy”.
This is not to say that angry women have mental health issues because that is not true. I do believe it is true that sexism, the belief that women should be one way and men another, probably contributes to many angry women believing they have a problem and being labeled with a mental health diagnosis (by a professional and/or by society). There is still a movement though to build women’s confidence in themselves, to be more body positive, see themselves as capable and equal and yet when women display this confidence in anything other than a quiet, submissive smile people become outraged.
My solution has been continuing to be who I am no matter what and finding people who respect who I am. All of me. It was a process to get to this point and I can see how each year I become closer to being completely ok with all the parts of me.
P.S. I know I have been absent for awhile. I can tell you all why in a few weeks!